Owning A Home
As you are about to find out, owning a home can be a lot of work. Don’t let that discourage you though, just take a look at a few things that are needed ASAP and get them done when you can. Let’s take a look.
Check On Your Security
Home security is critical and there are a few things that you should take care of, if nothing else, so that you can just feel better.
First, you need to change the exterior door locks. You were given he keys but you never know how many copies have been made. There could be dozens of keys floating around. This is true especially around the time of a home sale when realtors and contractors are all given access to a home.
Next, take a look at windows and make sure all of your locks are in good working order. Your home inspection should have revealed any problems but things can be missed. For additional security window thumb locks can be a nice addition and they are very cheap.
Finally, take a look at exterior security. Make sure that lighting is adequate at night. If needed outside lighting is cheap and effective at discouraging break ins. Also, be sure to trim hedges away from windows to eliminate potential hiding spots.
Buy Your Home Tools
You are going to need a few things around the home that you probably do not have. There is no longer a landlord or management company around to handle all of your little maintenance items. In addition, it is probably not going to be affordable to hire a handyman to handle all of your little maintenance issues that come up. Here are a few things that you will need.
First, you will need a ladder and a step stool. A small 2 foot step stool will come in handy often while a 6 foot ladder will be used less frequently but still often enough to make it worth buying. There is nothing more frustrating than trying to change a light bulb or air filter that you can not reach.
Also, get at least a basic tool kit. A hammer, phillips screwdriver, slotted screwdriver, an adjustable wrench and a small socket set make a good start.
As for the lawn, if you have one and intend to cut it yourself, you will need a mower, a trimmer and probably some hedge cutters. Make sure that you get the appropriate sized mower based on the size of your lawn. You wouldn’t want to get a big zero turn mower for a typical suburban lot. The right cutting width is critical to the ease at which you can cut your lawn. Gas or electric is also a decision that must be made. Electric is nice but you need to remember to charge the batteries and they may not be a great choice on larger lawns.
Plant Some Trees
A mature tree can add thousands of dollars to the value of a home. Not only that but they also can make a home cooler and generally more energy efficient if you use them properly.
Plant trees now and give them time to grow. You can get a 5-6 foot tree now for around $30 a piece, depending on the type of tree you select. Just planting three little trees now would cost about 100 dollars but could get you a few thousand dollars more on the sale of your home in as little as five years.
Plant trees as soon as you can so they can mature as soon as possible.
Inventory Your Home
When you purchased your home, you also purchased home owners insurance. This covers your home in case of damage from storms, fire, etc. It also covers your belongings from this same damage and even from theft. Let’s say that the worse were to happen and you lost everything int a fire. Would you be able to list everything in your home or prove what you had? Probably not, so let’s take care of that.
You should do this in two ways.
First, take the time to list all of the items in your home. List all of the big dollar ones and then you can summarize the smaller items like clothing. No need to list every sock in your drawer. Be as detailed as possible.
Next, take a video inventory. You can do this room by room with your smart phone and then upload the videos to a secure storage site. Be sure to get every inch of your room, including closets and if necessary drawers.
Being thorough could yield you thousands of extra dollars in benefits if your home were burglarized, damaged or destroyed. Do your inventory right.
Do Needed Maintenance
Chances are that your home is in pretty good shape if you just bought it. Most home sellers will take care of the major maintenance issues before listing a property. Not all of them though.
If some things came up on your inspection or you have since noticed some maintenance issues, get them taken care of ASAP. Things like exterior paint and caulking can cause further damage if they are not addressed.
Now is also a good time to set up your routine maintenance services like pest control and annual air conditioning checkups. A bit of prevention can save you a lot of money in the future.
Your first home is a great thing and your first few days as a home owner can be very exciting. Just remember, it is not all easy. There is work involved as well. Get a few simple things done and enjoy your home more now and spend less on repairs in the future